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The sight of a glimmering wood floor speaks to us of glamour, good living, and very hard work on somebody's part. It's true that you have to take care of a wood floor, but you don't have to break your back to do so if you take care of it on a regular basis.
Whether it's wood or marble or concrete, each surface has its own distinct cleaning needs. And meeting those needs is crucial to having long-lasting floors that shimmer.
- The product used to seal a wood floor determines how it can be cared for. Varnish, shellac, polyurethane, or lacquer are used to finish floors, but only polyurethane requires no further treatment.
- The integrity and beauty of wood floors with varnish, shellac, or lacquer finishes can be maintained only by using solvent-base cleaners and polishes. Water should never be used on wood floors, except those treated with polyurethane. They can be damp-mopped.
- The fastest way to clean a lacquered, varnished, or shellacked floor is with a one-step cleaner/polish. After vacuuming, pour the liquid on a small area and rub lightly with a wax applicator. Working on a small section at a time, stroke the floor in the direction of the grain. Blot up any excess liquid with a clean cloth.
- The best way to clean a wood floor is not the fastest but will result in a long-lasting shine. After vacuuming the floor, apply a liquid wood-floor cleaner with a dry wax applicator on a small area at a time. Let it soak for a few minutes, and wipe up the excess. When the floor is dry, buff with a floor polisher. Caution: This is a combustible mixture; use only in a well-ventilated area.